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Baker criticizes Trump over initial Charlottesville remarks

Governor Charlie Baker (left) and Mayor Marty Walsh arrived at a press conference in Boston on Monday.

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Governor Charlie Baker (left) and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh arrived at a press conference in Boston on Monday.

Governor Charlie Baker on Monday criticized President Trump’s delay in speaking out strongly against racism after the Charlottesville, Virginia, white supremacist rally devolved into violence.

“I called out the president on a number of occasions. I call him out when I disagree with him. I think he should have come out and said what everybody else was thinking and believing shortly after the incident that occurred in Charlottesville, which is: white supremacists have no business and no place in American political dialogue. Period. End of discussion. Case closed,” Baker said.

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Asked if he still felt Trump was still fit to serve after Trump’s delay in speaking out, Baker, a Republican in a blue state who did not vote for either Clinton or Trump in the election, said, “Look, I made my decision clear about that one last fall.”

“I think one of the most important things you have to be able to do and you should do as a public official, especially an elected public official, is hear people and give people an opportunity, whether they agree with you or disagree with you, to get their point across and to deliver their message,” he continued.

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“And I know there are a lot of people in communities of color who don’t believe they are being heard by this administration and I think they need to do something about that,” he said.

Trump on Monday declared that ‘‘racism is evil’’ in a more forceful statement on the clashes in Charlottesville after widespread intense criticism that his earlier statements had been too weak. He had originally condemned violence on “many sides.”

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